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    First Year SpEd. Teacher
    By fiver326

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    One of the biggest obstacles is keeping everything organized. Here are a few things that I do:

    Your hanging folder for each student is great. I do the same. Within each hanging folder I place 3 file folders. One labeled "Work Samples" (for samples, annecdotal records, etc.), one "Paperwork" (IEP documents, meeting preparations, quarterly progress reports), one "Communication" (for all forms of communication with family--a copy of all notes to/from me, and a log of any phone calls and what was discussed)

    On my desk I have a notecard with all of the IEP due dates. I generally just have each student labeled with a first initial and the date it is due. It's starred if I am the case manager (some student I work with but do not manage so the IEP paperwork process isn't as involved from my end), and highlighted blue if they are due for a reeval this year. To anyone else it looks like a card of letters and dates since I don't have anything labeled as "IEP" so it's confidential if anyone sees it.

    At the beginning of each year, after I've looked over the IEPs I fill out "IEP At a Glance" forms to keep in my sub folder. It's a cheat sheet on everything that NEEDS to be known about the student.

    I've created a template for checking things off with timelines of when they need to be completed (as far as IEP prep). This helps me keep organized if several IEPs come due at the same time I know exactly where I am with each one.
    I have a clipboard with packets of goals. For example, everyone with a reading goal gets a page with their goal and benchmarks at the top, first initial in top right corner so I know who it is but I don't need to lock it away because no one else would know, and then just a table to make anecdotal notes on. When reading time comes around, I put the reading packet on top so the goals are always visually accessible. I have packets for Reading, writing, math, organization, social skills (sometimes others as needed). Set goals for yourself of a certain number of anecdotal records for each goal (like one per week) so you don't forget to write things down. Documentation is HUGE.
    For the beginning of the year I typically sit down with all the IEPs and make notecards for each accommodation. For example, I might make a notecard that says "Testing in small group" and then list who it is that needs that, or "Sensory breaks every 2 hours" and list the students who need that. This just gives me a quick overview because I'm very visual. All of this becomes second nature a few weeks into the school year and you just know who needs what but this is a tool that helps me keep focused in those first few weeks.

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